Tuesday, 5 May 2009

An Oxford Tradition: ROWING

My friend Kelly came to visit me my first weekend back at Oxford and I was telling her that I really wanted to have a proper go at rowing. So I got in contact with a few colleges here at Oxford and Lincoln college was the first to respond to my e-mail. So come Tuesday morning at 6:30 am I headed out to the Isis river to climb into the first boat (the best rowers) of Lincoln College. The sun had just risen and a gorgeous mist blanketed the river. The cows were still napping in the lush green grasses of Christ Church Meadows and the swans were swimming gracefully in the Cherwall. A few brave scullers were already out on the water- perhaps trying to complete their morning ritual before hoards of Oxford students broke the calm waters. As I showed up in my newly bought leggings, hot pink socks, and sparkle baseball cap I heard a chuckle from our coach as she gave me a brief course in Rowing 101. She prepared me for what she called "a baptism by fire." My first "outing" on the river as they call it, was definitely a trial, but ultimately an athletically rewarding experience. Most shocking was the strange athletic mentality of "crew." Rowing is unlike any other sport that I have ever participated in. In rowing, you are only a power house- a giant muscle. You don't think, you don't make decisions. The cox tells you everything that you should do and your only goal is to synchronize perfectly with the other 7 engines of the boat. There is something calming about rowing- almost like yoga where you attempt to clear your mind and just focus on the strength of your muscles and the stamina of your body. I survived another outing last Saturday and I intend to keep training for our first competition known as Summer Eights. It is held the last week in May and it is a "bump" race where you attempt to catch up with the boat in front of you and physically hit the boat with your oars- thus 'bumping' them and moving up in the ranks. There are 4 days of racing in total and the goal is to climb your way via bumping to the front of the river. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. hahah!! I can see you showing up with your sparkle clothes and pink socks ... sort of like the girl in legally blond!!! ahaha!!! The only thing you didn't bring was your mini-dog ...

    You show 'em girl! Imagine what your arms are going to look like at the wedding!! Go!! WoohoOOOoooOOO!!

    You may never pass this way again so take in everything you can like a sponge! :) Love you!!